Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Kolmi no Patio (Parsi style prawn chutney/ relish)

Kolmi no Patio/ Prawn Patio/ Prawn Patia
Parsi food can best be described as an assortment of khattu and mitthu meaning sour and sweet. A majority of "star" Parsi cuisine dishes happily thrive on this delightful melange of flavours that blend so well that the end product is pure magic for ones palate. Iconic dishes like Patra ni Machchi, Sali Boti, Lagan nu Eestew, Gajar mewa nu Achar are all poignant examples.

As I've always mentioned, some 1800 plus years ago as our Zoroastrian ansesctors fled Persia in boats, they docked at a sleepy town called Surat in Gujrat. The ever effervesent Gujarati's are well known to add a sweet element in almost all their food and this was where Parsi food got its mitthu touch from.

As regards khattu, an important and in my opinion irreplaceable ingredient that goes in making what Parsi food is, is Sugarcane Vinegar. This is that very "secret" ingredient, which according to me is the real game changer.

I have made all Parsi dishes with malt vinegar in the past with delicious results, but once I got my paws on the real deal, I've never gone back to using malt vinegar again.

Todays recipe is a one that is close to many a Parsi heart. The Prawn Patio (pronounced Paa-tee-O) a crazy delicious chutney/ relish that it mostly served on auspicious occasions like New Years day, wedding 'lunches', bithdays and feasts post religious ceremonies, along with steamed rice and thick (think creamy soup consistency) yellow dal (pigeon pea lentil soup). These three when combined form the holy trinity known as Dhun-Daar-Patio.

Dhun Daar, Pic courtesy here
On rare occasion (or if you lived with my Granny, not so rare) Parsis also enjoy the Patio drizzled upon yellow khichri rice (rice cooked with turmeric powder, cumin seeds and orange masoor lentils), top it with some fresh yogurt this would make a comforting lunch.

If you have always drooled and wondered how the Parsi Patio is made look no further, if you have no clue what Patio is (ha ha my friend, its gastronomic divinity!)

Without furthur banter then,

Serves 6-8
You will need:
500 gms prawns de-shelled and de-veined
3 tbsp oil
2 large onions sliced
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
2 finely chopped green chillies
2 whole green chillies
1 tsp red chili powder
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp turmeric powder
¾ cup tomato pureed
2 large tomatoes cut into 3 pieces each
¾ th cup of fresh coriander leaves finely chopped
1 tbsp jaggery
3 tbsps cane vinegar
Salt to taste.

Heat the oil and fry the onions till golden brown,
Now add in the ginger garlic pastes and cook for a minute.

Add to this the chilies, cumin, turmeric and salt.

Cook for a minute and add in the tomatoes, prawns and coriander leaves.

Now add 2½ cups of water and bring to a boil.

Cover and cook for about 1 hour over a medium flame.

Check if prawns are cooked through and then add the jaggery and mix well.

Cook till just done.

Turn off the heat and add in vinegar (boiling vinegar for long will emanate a bitter taste and hence is added last)

The patia should be thick, spicy and slightly sweet and sour.

Add more jaggery or vinegar if required.

Serve this with white steamed rice, the dhun daar lentils, and the fish patia as one dish.



  1. Aaah ! Now i know why parsi food is both Khattu and Mitthu :) ...nice recipe !


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